Monday, September 24, 2018
Business

Tampa Bay home prices still soaring amid tight supply

Sales of Tampa Bay homes dropped in April but prices surged yet again as Florida's real estate market continued to be defined by tight supply and high demand.

Compared to the same month last year, the median price for a single family home rose 12.5 percent here, the most of any major metro area in the state.

But despite that increase and Tampa Bay's most expensive residential sale ever — $11.18 million for Clearwater's Century Oaks estate — there was a hint that the pace of price growth may be slowing just a bit.

RELATED COVERAGE:Fabled Clearwater estate sells for a record $11.18 million

In Hillsborough, Pasco and Hernando counties, year-over-year median prices in April rose less than they had in February and March. Pasco's price gain was the lowest in a year, though still a healthy 10 percent.

Buyers shouldn't get too excited, though.

"I think that was probably a momentary blip," said Jeff Shelton, a Coldwell Banker agent in Tampa. "The Tampa Bay market is still one of the top real estate markets in the country."

It's becoming a familiar story: Too many buyers chasing too few homes. All four bay area counties had a tighter inventory of available houses in April than they did a year earlier — and April 2016 was a tight month, too.

"I personally have had to start knocking on doors," said Shelton, who with partner Mike Hughes is among Hillsborough's top-selling agents. "When I have a client who asks me about a particular property, I can go directly and ask if the (owner) is interested in selling."

According to figures released Wednesday by Florida Realtors, Pinellas County had the biggest year-over-year price gain in the bay area, up 17.3 percent to a median of $235,000. Next was Hillsborough, up 10.6 percent to $229,990; Pasco, up 10 percent to $187,000; and Hernando, up 9.4 percent to $151,000.

The Tampa Bay figures reflected the state and national trends in April, with prices up and the number of sales down.

"Realtors continue to voice the frustration their clients are experiencing because of the insufficient number of homes for sale," said Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors. "Homes in the lower- and mid-market price range are hard to find in most markets, and when one is listed for sale, interest is immediate and multiple offers are nudging the eventual sales prices higher."

As evidence of the exceedingly tight supply, not a single home sold in April in 46 Hillsborough ZIP Code areas or in 25 Pinellas ZIPs.

By far the top bay area sale was that on April 4 of Century Oaks, the 10-bedroom estate with guesthouse overlooking Clearwater Harbor.

The deed has yet to be recorded — property appraiser records still show the owner as powerboat champion Hugh Fuller — but Mystery Key LLC took out a $14 million mortgage on April 5. The company's managers are Blaise Carroz, whom Bloomberg News once described as a "French-born, Dubai-based real estate developer,'' and Marata Carroz Tapsoba.

In Hillsborough, April's priciest sale was $2.6 million for a five-bedroom, four- bath home on Tampa's Harbour Island. Pasco's top- seller was a newly built home in the Champions Club area of Trinity. And in Hernando, a buyer paid $470,000 for a 3,000-square-foot home in Hernando Beach that looks out on the Gulf of Mexico.

Hernando was the only bay area county in which more single-family home sold in April than did a year earlier — a hefty increase of nearly 30 percent. In Pinellas, by comparison, there were 4.5 percent fewer sales.

For Florida as a whole, April sales dropped 1.2 percent while prices rose 10.3 percent, to $234,900.

And nationally, stubbornly low supply levels held down home sales and also pushed the median number of days a home was on the market to a new low of 29 days. The median existing-home price in April was $244,800, up 6 percent from the same month a year earlier.

Contact Susan Taylor Martin at [email protected] or 727-893-8642. Follow @susanskate

 
Comments
Weight Watchers slims its name down to WW

Weight Watchers slims its name down to WW

Weight Watchers is its dropping its brand name in exchange for something slimmer: "WW." The company says the new logo - coupled with the tagline "Wellness that Works" -- puts an emphasis on overall health and well being, with less...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Study: Some Tampa Bay neighborhoods among quickest selling in the state

Study: Some Tampa Bay neighborhoods among quickest selling in the state

Tampa Bay sounds like a home seller’s dream market — even compared to other locales statewide. According to a recent study by SmartAsset, four of the top 10 easiest places to sell a home in Florida are in the bay area. Northern Hillsborough County ac...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Lower demand brings slight dip in gas prices across state, Tampa Bay

Lower demand brings slight dip in gas prices across state, Tampa Bay

Just in time for fall, pump prices are finally declining. Gas prices in Florida averaged $2.72 per gallon Monday, down from $2.74 per gallon a week ago, according to AAA, The Auto Club Group. Tampa Bay prices were even lower at $2.63 per gallon, down...
Published: 09/24/18
SiriusXM to buy Pandora for $3.5 Billion in bid to expand reach

SiriusXM to buy Pandora for $3.5 Billion in bid to expand reach

Satellite radio provider Sirius XM said Monday that it would acquire music streaming service Pandora Media for $3.5 billion in a bid to corral listeners who do not want to pay for premium channels.Pandora rose to success by providing tailored radio s...
Published: 09/24/18
Jeff Vinik invests in gaming headset maker boosted by Fortnite’s popularity

Jeff Vinik invests in gaming headset maker boosted by Fortnite’s popularity

TAMPA — As a mutual fund wonder-boy, hedge fund manager and real estate investor, Jeff Vinik has long displayed a sense for knowing when to put money into the next big thing, and his latest bet on e-sports may be no different.Vink recently bought nea...
Published: 09/24/18
Hernando Business Digest for Sept. 28

Hernando Business Digest for Sept. 28

BrieflyEMPLOYERS NEEDED FOR JOB FAIR: Pasco-Hernando State College, CareerSource Pasco Hernando, the Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce and Hernando County Office of Economic Development are seeking employers to participate in the Open for A...
Published: 09/24/18
Solar farm land price is $6.8 million, including $4.4 million to state Sen. Wilton Simpson

Solar farm land price is $6.8 million, including $4.4 million to state Sen. Wilton Simpson

Tampa Electric Co. has said its Mountain View Solar project near Dade City represented a $75 million investment in alternative energy. The investing began in earnest last week when the utility paid more than $6.8 million for 382 acres in the rural co...
Published: 09/24/18
Dear Penny: I spent everything ending a bad relationship. Can I treat myself?

Dear Penny: I spent everything ending a bad relationship. Can I treat myself?

Dear Penny, I just made one of the hardest decisions of my life and ended the relationship I had been in since my early 20s. After a decade in a bad relationship, I’m super excited to be single again. The problem is my wardrobe. Over the past few yea...
Published: 09/24/18
Nearly half of cellphone calls will be scams by 2019, report says

Nearly half of cellphone calls will be scams by 2019, report says

Nearly half of all cellphone calls next year will come from scammers, according to First Orion, a company that provides phone carriers and their customers caller ID and call blocking technology.The Arkansas-based firm projects an explosion of incomin...
Published: 09/23/18
Walmart is teaming with a Seminole Heights chef to promote locally grown mushrooms

Walmart is teaming with a Seminole Heights chef to promote locally grown mushrooms

TAMPA — It might seem like an unlikely match from the outside: A distinguished chef with a restaurant known for inventive plates using produce shoppers can find at… Walmart?Walmart, the country’s largest grocer, is known for having a core consumer wh...
Published: 09/21/18
Updated: 09/23/18